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Wednesday, 25 March 2020 06:06

Phalombe girls geared to fight gender based violence

Written by  Sam Majamanda
The girls interacting The girls interacting Pic. by MANA

Phalombe, March 25, 2020:Girls from Traditional Authorities (TAs) Jenala and Nazombe in Phalombe are determined to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) which most girls have been experiencing in the area.

One of the activists, Monica Kwerengwe from Chiringa Youth Club told Malawi News Agency (MANA) in an interview on Monday that many girls in the district were facing various forms of violence that end up hindering them from accessing education and participating fully in community social life.

Speaking on the sidelines of a girls’ camp for out-of-school youth club members organized by the Centre for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWOC), Kwerengwe claimed that many young girls were suffering sexual and psychological abuses at the hands of their stepfathers.

“We want to put this to an end because it shutters most of our girls’ dreams and complicates their future. You should know that a girl who has been sexually or physically abused fails to actively participate in education and even in other community activities, which in the end renders her vulnerable to further abuses in the future,” said Kwerengwe.

Statistics from Phalombe Police Station’s Victim Support Unit show that among cases of GBV registered since January this year, sexual harassment leads by 23 percent and most of the abuses recorded involve stepfathers and their daughters.

CAVWOC’s Project Manager, Thokozani Chimasula said while girls continue to face challenges such as the abuses, it was encouraging to note that girls who were subjected to such abuses had teamed up to deal with the injustice on their own.

Chimasula said it was CAVWOC’s aim to address the abuses and bridge all the gaps in sexual reproductive health rights issues so that girls from the two TAs were attaining education as well as participating in community and national development.

Among other objectives, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded girls’ camp was designed to form an alliance among girls from the two TAs that would strengthen the fight against GBV